Donegal forward Michael Murphy will miss his county’s Ulster Championship opener with Cavan on 20th May.
The prolific forward – who has scored 6-17 from just 14 Championship appearances for the Tír Conaill men has been sidelined since suffering collateral ligament damage against Dublin in the Allianz Football League last month.
He is targeting a return against Derry in June – assuming Donegal overcome Cavan.
“It won’t happen,” Donegal assistant manager Rory Gallagher explained to the Irish News when asked if Murphy would be available for the Kingspan Breffni Park clash.
“It’s going to come too soon for him. That’s not a story I’m throwing out – he won’t make it in time. With Michael, it’s a slow process and he is just following his rehab programme.
“We won’t rush him at all. Everyone knows how good he is and how important he is to us, so we certainly won’t be bringing him back quickly than we should.
“We’ll bring Michael back only when Michael is ready to get back – no sooner.”